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Comments about ‘John Hoffmire: Is international trade good or bad for communities?’

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Published: Monday, Aug. 11 2014 7:30 a.m. MDT

Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 13 2014 3:17 p.m. MDT

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jmro
Madison, WI

It seems that people in general are becoming more globally conscious of how connected we are. Fair trade seems to be a great direction to go to ensure no one suffers for luxuries like chocolate or jewels. It seems that much of the harm that comes from these global supply chains are driven by profit and a desire for cheap goods. How do we incentivise fair trade products over less costly, but more harmful free trade products?

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

Charles Dunoyer famously stated that"one consequence of the industrial regime is to destroy artificial inequalities, but this only highlights natural inequalities all the more clearly." Dunoyer continued "superior abilities . . . are the source of everything that is great and useful . . . Reduce everything to equality and you will bring everything to a standstill. " This is why state intervention of any kind must be rejected. Natural inequalities such as differences in physical, intellectual, and moral capabilities are crucial to an economy of growth and innovation.

Invisible Hand
Provo, UT

@jmro: How do you define "fair" trade? The only harm from global supply chains is to inefficient businesses and industries. Their harm is the economy's gain, as that labor and capital should be put to better use through creative destruction. Anytime people use the word "fair" in a political context it usually is a pretext for a bunch of government bureaucrats crony capitalists to conspire to extract rents from the rest of us.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Hey John charity Spring -

"This is why state intervention of any kind must be rejected"

That is ABSOLUTELY Ridiculous.

Why do you think China is so dominant these days?

It's because the Chinese government heavily subsidizes key industries. That gives Chinese industries the edge in international competition, and when foreign competitors who can no longer compete in the global marketplace go belly up, then the Chinese government reduces those subsidies, and allows Chinese companies to go it alone . . . AFTER they are the preeminent and possibly ONLY world player in their respective industries.

"The government of China lavishes subsidies on its companies to make their products more competitive in the global marketplace . . . Last year, China's government gave its domestic companies $111 billion in guarantees, loans and insurance to help them sell their various products overseas . . . the U.S. total was just $15 billion. “ – Fareed Zakaria

The Founders gave us a government for the purpose of GOVERNING. Why is that so hard for "Conservatives" to understand?

Helping industries compete globally is part of good governance.

Got it yet?

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

"Natural inequalities such as differences in physical, intellectual, and moral capabilities are crucial to an economy of growth and innovation."

And those who are not the strongest, smartest or inherited access to resources - what are they to do? Perish? Perhaps in the Utopian view of capitalism - survival of the fittest is the moral compass we should adopt.

Equality does not breed mediocrity.....every Saturday afternoon we see it on out TVs. In sport, we have the best of the best on display - but they play within the construct of rules - rules designed to level the playing field, to make sure no one gains an unfair advantage. Sport survives today because of the equality of rules. No one wants to see a sport where one team always wins.. it would destroy the league.

In fact - having common standards, rules, etc is what breeds innovation. The world wide web is enabled by rules - not crippled by it. Interoperability and equality of voice... that is what makes the web a true engine of freedom and growth.

Without state intervention... really? All major economic booms have been a result of rules and standards. Standards, measures, rules.. enable innovation, not destroy.

airnaut
Everett, 00

Brigham Young taught that trade with the states in the "East" was simply sending their hard earned money to the Gentiles.

If they wanted to "grow" their economy in Utah,
they needed to keep their "usuary" in Utah and not be sending it for cheaper products from the East.

---

Seeing what Americans Businesses are doing with the EAST [Red Communists in China] today must have old Brother Brigham spinning over and over in his grave....

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

@airnut.... if what you are claiming is true... then old Brother Brigham sure acted contradictory in that he was a huge proponent of the Union Pacific completing their line through Utah, and made sure it had a spur that lead south from Ogden to Salt Lake - to the point of having members work for the UP to ensure the connection to the East was completed.

Brigham was trying to build an economic base in Utah where there was none. Having capital head east would have slowed that down tremendously. But he also understood Utah could not survive in isolation. Yes, the rail line was vital and a much more humane way for immigrants to Utah value.... but Utah's industry also needed markets for its goods and services.

Brigham had a lot of resentment for the states east... justifiably so. But he wasn't an economic isolationist either. He understood the value and leverage of economic ties.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "airnaut" I don't think you know what usury (correct spelling) is. It is the interest paid on loans, it is not goods. In the Journal Of Discourses Brigham Young is quoted as saying "
It is the duty of every person to thus put their money and other means to usury. We should all learn to use the blessings God has bestowed upon us with the greatest possible economy, doing good with the means he puts into our hands, and he will enlarge our means and our capacity to do more good."

He encouraged trade and building up of businesses.

Please provide some sort of quote or verifiable reference that shows Brigham Young telling people to avoid doing business with eastern states.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The trouble with free trade is the same as the free market, it is in the definition. Free trade like the free market would imply to most of us as trade and the market under the control of the buyers and sellers. Free trade and the free market for businessmen is simply when there is no government control and they are free to disregard the factors of buyers and sellers.

When the economic system of a particular society or nation is closed to outside transactions there is a balance between labor and management that provides labor the ability to buy the things they need and want while management receives a just compensation for their contribution. In such a system prices are controlled by the normal forces of buying and selling.

When either group, management or labor, is able to upset the balance by outside interference, the system starts to fail. And because the management is usually the people with the money, they are the ones to take advantage of the imbalance.

When the outside interference is equally beneficial to both, the system remains stable. A imbalance in trade with the outside is a serious problem.

airnaut
Everett, 00

INTRODUCTION OF MACHINERY.
Remarks by President Brigham Young, in the Tabernacle,
Salt Lake City, January 13th, 1867.

There is one subject that I have incessantly kept before the
capitalists of the Latter-day Saints; and that is to go east and purchase machinery with their means. Go and buy machines, you men who have capital; ...and machinists, make mills to spin that we may have linen from flax of our own growing.

I have asked the brethren who have capital to go and buy machinery, yet how much has been bought and imported here?
[not much - it was cheaper to import]

If one of our capitalists is asked to buy machinery, his reply is, "I
can make money faster by bringing goods here to sell." Is that your
object in coming here? Work the sweat of your brows, and trade it away to the States?

So it would be if he [capitalists] were told to go and buy machinery; he would go and buy it, and bring it here to be employed for the good of the people, or his own benefit, and for the upbuilding of the Kingdom of God.

Same principle applies today with Communist China...

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "airnaut" but that contradicts what you said earlier. What Brigham is advocating in your latest quote is bringing jobs to the valley. At 11:54 you said that the Saints were told to not buy goods from the east.

Brigham is telling the wealthy to be capitalists, and is teaching them to be better capitalists by going for long term profits based on the fact that the cost to produce in the east was the same as in Utah.

Try again when you lose the anti-capitalist agenda.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

International trade is good for capital, but can be bad for labor because - labor is bound by nationality whereas capital is not. This means capital can and does whipsaw labor. We are getting a really good taste of that here in the U.S.

DVD
Taylorsville, 00

If that trade is essentially supplied by slavery (such as Asian slavery), then it is harmful. Where there are consistant rules and enforcement, then it can be beneficial.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut
To "airnaut" but that contradicts what you said earlier. What Brigham is advocating in your latest quote is bringing jobs to the valley. At 11:54 you said that the Saints were told to not buy goods from the east.

======

I can't help you.

He told the Saints to NOT buy cheap imports,
that it was sending money OUT of the Territory,
costing jobs, and sinking the Territorial economy.

The higher prices, would of course spur the local factories,
create jobs, and improve the Territory.

AGAIN --
Look at what cheap imports have done the United States during the last 20 years.

BTW --
Brigham Young also supported trade and labor UNIONS, for the same reason...

This very Newspaper - the Deseret News - created the 1st UNION in the Territory,
with Pres. Young's blessing.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "LDS Liberal" no, that isn't what he said. He said the cost to make the goods is the same. Brigham Young was specifically calling for more manufacturing equipment to be brought into the territory. If you read the article you quoted, it is clearly a call for creating industry in the territory and is not a reprimand for buying cheap imports.

Rather than looking at what cheap imports have done, look at what high corporate taxes have done combined with ever raising labor costs.

If you look into the history of unions in Utah, Brigham Young was uneasy with them, along with most LDS members. There was an actors guild (union) that tried to gain ground before the typesetters union. The actors guild didn't really last long or go very far.

You really should read some articles about the history of unions in Utah and also re-read the article you referenced earlier.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut
To "LDS Liberal" no, that isn't what he said.

========

I have less than 200 words to quote 13,000 pages from the Journal of Discourses.

YES -- It is precisely what he said.

Stop sending money OUT of the territories.
He said it hundreds of times.

I can not help you looking up the referneces.
Read them for yourself.

I quoted Brigham Young, and have read his sermons, testimonies many, many times --
I beleive you are wrong, and that I am right.

You are free to believe whatever you want,
but you are not free to change what some else has said.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "LDS Liberal" you may have the JoD, but you don't understand what is being said or else take things out of context. In the paragraph preceding the one you quoted it states "There is one subject that I have incessantly kept before the capitalists of the Latter-day Saints for the past sixteen years; and that is to go east and purchase machinery with their means. Go and buy carding machines, you men who have capital; and you who have not capital, sow a quarter of an acre of flax, and keep on sowing until you become flax growers; and you machinists, make mills to spin it, that we may have linen from flax of our own growing." He continues to plead with the wealthy LDS Pioneers to buy machinery and produce goods here.

His message is about brining business here, he is not saying anything about cheap labor or anything at all about labor costs. The cost of labor was essentially the same in Utah as it was in New York.

So, read the entire discourse titled "Weakness of the Human Mind. Extortion. Imperfection of the Human Judgment. Introduction of Machinery" then think about it.

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